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We would therefore say: let self-reporting be, at first, neither absolutely re jected nor prematurely forced upon the scholars. But let the teacher's constant aim be to foster a spontaneous and candid avowal of error, whether privately or publicly (the former rather than the latter), he meanwhile keeping his own record founded on his own observation. Indeed, this record must continue to be kept as a check on the other, until, by the power of his own goodness and his magnetic hold on the love and reverence of his pupils, he has raised the class to a high tone of conscientiousness and strongly impressed them with the duty which they owe to themselves, to their companions, and to their teacher, of jealously guarding the moral standing and discipline of the school, until every one has learned to keep a strict watch over himself, a faithful record of his short-comings, and be ever ready, when he hears the call, to step forward and tell the whole truth bravely.
One caution more, before we conclude: The teacher who adopts self-reporting, must be careful to draw a line between mere infractions of school regulations and those graver moral offenses which involve sinfulness and guilt. These are to be reserved for private dealing with the culprit. A public exposure would only serve to destroy his self-respect and sense of shame, to harden his heart and make him reckless. Neither should the spontaneous acknowledgment of breaches of discipline involve any penalty more severe than friendly advice and remonstrance.
We would also suggest that a silent or negative report is preferable to a more direct testimony. So, instead of calling upon those who have communicated or have been, in any way, out of order, to rise or raise their hand, let rather those who have succeeded in keeping perfect order, indicate it by the sign agreed on. Then, if expedient, after these have left the room, let the others be de tained for a few words of caution, advice, and encouragement, uttered in the spirit of affectionate solicitude rather than of reproof and displeasure, which should be reserved for whoever has tried to throw a cloke of falsehood and hypocrisy over his faults.
INSTRUCTION IN THE CLEVELAND SCHOOLS-Concluded.
In referring last month to the memoriter method of conducting recitations in oral spelling, noticed “in some of the primary schools," we might have stated more explicitly that the method is not in general use and is disapproved of by the superintendent. We might also have stated that the neglect of elementary sounds and phonic spelling dates far back of the present administration of the schools. Drills in these exercises are now prescribed as a part of the regular course of instruction.
Vocal Music. A special teacher of this branch was employed at an early day, but the results did not, for some reason, satisfy the Board, and his services were dispensed with. The demand for musical instruction was, however, too pressing and its importance too evident to permit its omission as a settled policy, and after a few terms a special teacher was again employed. This policy was continued for several years, when a spirit of retrenchment again caused it to be
abandoned, but only to be adopted again after a brief interval. Special instruction in vocal music is now the settled policy of the schools, and such instruction receives attention in all departments.
The changes that have occurred in teaching this branch are also very suggestive. The pupils were first taught almost exclusively by rote. Subsequently, an effort was made to teach the elements of vocal music, but with only tolerable saccess. Many of the more apt pupils in the upper departments acquired the ability to sing very easy music at sight, but the great majority of the pupils obtained very little knowledge of the principles of music. The classes were, however, well drilled in vocalization, and could sing many pieces with fine effect. The course of instruction now given is graded, and a good degree of attention is paid to the elements. At the close of the year the pupils of the upper departments are subjected to a written examination. The singing in all grades is good.
Composition. This branch receives more attention in the lower grades than formerly. It is now made a weekly exercise in the intermediate or sub-grammar schools, in several of which we found Brookfield's plan of teaching composition successfully used. The written exercises of the pupils were very creditable. In the grammar schools composition is, as formerly, a semi-monthly task, alternating with declamation or select reading, but more attention is given to the proper use of capitals, abbreviations, quotation and punctuation marks, etc. We saw a capital exercise of this kind in the Eagle Street Grammar School. We regret that we are unable to refer to the primary and secondary schools in this connection. We find that our information is too meagre; and
give instead an account of what we saw in the school taught by Miss Sarah L. Andrews—a model primary teacher. When we entered the room she was drilling her pupils in oral sentence-making. She wrote upon the board two or more words, and the pupils made up sentences in which the several words occurred. Many of the sentences given showed much intelligence, and the school was all aglow with enthusiasm. She stated that she had recently introduced the exercise, and had not as yet required the sentences to be written. She had been using Brookfield's plan. She placed on the black-board each day two questious which the pupils answered in writing. On Friday these answers were arranged in one written exercise forming a brief composition. One of these exercises which we begged of one of her smallest pupils, is now before us. It is well written, and contains one hundred words. In leaving this subject we wish to ask with earnestness, When will language be taught in all our common schools as thoroughly and practically as arithmetic ?
English Grammar. We record with pleasure two important changes in the teaching of this subject: It is introduced about two years later, and analysis is made the key to etymology and parsing. Both of these changes are in the right direction, and so far as the Brownell (then Clinton) Street School is concerned, they were made fifteen years ago. Experience has fully vindicated the wisdom of what we then undertook as an experiment. Pupils with only two years' drill in technical grammar, enter the high schools better grammarians than when they were ground in the grammatical mortar for four years. We hope teachers will make a note of this fact. Scientific grammar clearly belongs
to the same period of school instruction as elementary algebra. The putting of children to the task of mastering the science of language, is justly characterized by Herbert Spencer as a “stupid custom.” If three-fourths of the time now spent by our youth in “studying grammar" were devoted to daily drills in composition, their knowledge of language, as well as their skill in its use, would be greatly increased.
Arithmetic. Fifteen years ago mental arithmetic was the hobby of the Cleveland schools. It was treated as a separate branch of study, and a daily recitation devoted to it. The classes in the intermediate schools passed nearly half through Colburn before entering regularly upon slate exercises, and the entire book was compassed (though the study was not dropped) before the pupils reached the subject of Interest in written arithmetic. It is true that the more skillful teachers introduced many of the subjects of written arithmetic by exercises in mental analysis, but the two studies were practically divorced. he drills in Colburn were persistent and thorough, and the acme of the teacher's ambition was reached when his classes could repeat with the utmost glibness the formal“ analysis” of its more difficult problems. Now mėntal and written arithmetic are taught together, or pari passu, especially in the grammar schools. Usually each recitation consists of mental and written exercises, the former preparing the way for the latter; and, as a general rule, less time is now spent on mental and more on written exercises than formerly.
The non-use of the black-boards in recitations is also worthy of notice. Formerly a large amount of crayon was used up in taking a class through written arithmetic. If the pupils did not “eat their peck of dirt," it was because they had been early taught to keep their mouths shut. Now the slate is largely depended upon in conducting recitations. The Mayflower St. School is an exception. Here we found large classes “at the board” in both rooms; and the problems were solved with great neatness and dispatch. The explanations were also well expressed, and, what is equally commendable, were distinctly enunciated. (We are tempted to say that this school is in charge of excellent teachers.) Other schools in the city may use the black-board with old-style thoroughness, but we are unable to name them. Is it not true that in most cities the black-board is used less in recitations in arithmetic now than it was ten years ago? This seems to be the result of our observations.
Geography. Pelton's Outline Maps were introduced as early as 1849, giving prominence to the subject of local geography. The definitions and map exercises of the text-books then in use were faithfully taught, and vain efforts were also made to teach the descriptive text. The teachers at last became satisfied that it was a waste of time to attempt to teach such a mass of facts, and a little hand-book presenting only those portions of definitive and local geography which were deemed most important, was prepared. The introduction of this little book soon wrought a radical change in geographical instruction. The great aim was a thorough mastery of the maps, with the important definitions and such leading facts in descriptive geography as could be obtained by reading the text or orally communicated by the teacher. The old method of quego tion and answer was used only in reviewing. There has been a gradual return to former methods, and the classes are now taken through their text-books (less
crowded with facts) substantially on the old plan. The definitions, map exercises, and descriptive text are again recited. One important change is specially worthy of notice. The study is now dropped when English grammar is taken up, and is only reviewed (by the aid of White's Class Book) during the last term of the grammar-school course. Map-drawing receives attention. Physi- . cal geography is studied in the high schools.
History. We have not space to describe the various methods of teaching American history which have been tried in the Cleveland schools. The “skeleton" method had a long and thorough trial. A "thin" book was placed in the pupils' hands. They memorized several hundred facts contained therein, and tried hard to retain them until after their examination. The “stuffing” character of such instruction was too patent, and it was finally ruled out. The method now used is briefly this: The pupils use a good work on history as a reading book. After the lesson is read they are questioned, the important facts are brought out, and important information added. The leading facts are subsequently reviewed and classified. The method is generally liked by the teach
It is claimed that the pupils acquire not only more actual knowledge of history, but, what is more important, that they form a taste for the reading of historical works.
Physiology and Algebra. Physiology was formerly studied during the last term of the grammar-school course. Cutter's small work was used as a textbook, but the instruction usually took a wider range. The study is now made a part of the high-school course. For several years “ Tower's Intellectual Algebra” was used in the upper grammar classes as a preparation for written algebra. The experiment was not satisfactory, and the study was dropped.
We have aimed in the above sketch to select those changes in the instruction of the Cleveland schools which seem to us to be the most suggestive, and we have usually left the change described to speak for itself. We intended to devote more space to the instruction in the primary grade, showing how far the
new methods” have actually been adopted, what attention is given to oral instruction, “object lessons,” etc., but we find our information too meagre to justify such an attempt. We conclude with a brief reference to one or two important changes of a general character. The first is the marked increase in system and uniformity. This is the direct result of supervision, and at no time has the progress made in this direction been more marked than during the administration of the present superintendent. Another change is the reduction in the number of studies pursued simultaneously by the pupils in the grammar schools. This has been effected by dropping geography when English grammar is begun, uniting, to some degree, mental and written arithmetic, and omitting physiology.
J. C. K., in the Religious Monthly Magazine for March, defends the practice of corporal punishment against two classes of objectors: those who disapprove only the infliction of bodily castigation, and those who hold to the efficiency of kindness and moral suasion.
To the first class, who argue "that corporal punishment is degrading to the spirit,” and that it inflicts a physical injury, he replies that all punishment is degrading and attended with pain; but that the disgrace lies not in the discipline, but in its connection with wrong doing-a very important distinction. He then shows conclusively that if injury is to be inflicted, whipping is a far less serious evil, because merely an external infliction, than the inward torture to which a sensitive nature is subjected by dishonorable demerits and cutting satire.
To the second class, who argue that all punishment is barbaric, and that moral and civilized beings require merely enlightenment and moral suasion, he replies that, in most cases, the course recommended is an impossibility, for the very act of singling out a child for the exercise of moral suasion is a degradation in the eyes of the child and his companions. As for the moral suasion, that implies the knowledge of right and wrong which comes in a large part from the experience of their fruits—pain from sin and joy from virtue—and if a child has no experience of pain as connected with wrong doing he can never get the hatred for it which will make it susceptible of being used as a motive.
He claims that the true philosophy of punishment as a means of discipline has for its object the awakening of the moral perceptions and connecting the “idea of wrong with pain, harshness, and degradation.” When this has been done, and the idea of wrong is so associated with suffering, and right so wedded to pleasant emotions, “ that, if the two courses are presented to the mind, love for the one and hatred to the other will instinctively rise with them,” we have the real basis of moral suasion, which may then take the place of punishment.
Sin is a moral disease which must be cured however bitter the medicine, and where offenses are committed there ought to be no shrinking. “Moral health is the thing to be gained at all costs. And though from our earthly the same as our Heavenly parent, all chastening seemeth for the present to be grievous, yet afterwards it yieldeth the peaceful fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby."
Died at his residence in Elbridge, N. Y., January 19th, 1867, after more than twelve
years' suffering as an invalid, Prof. HORATIO N. ROBINSON, LL.D., the well known author of a series of mathematical text-books, aged 61 years.
Prof. Robinson was born at Hartwick, N. Y. He never attended any district school until he was sixteen years old, when he made the calculations for an almanac, which attracted the attention of a wealthy gentleman of the neighborhood, who sent him to Princeton College. He did not remaiņ, however, to graduate; but, at the age of nineteen, received and accepted the appointment of Professor of Mathematics in the Navy, which position he filled acceptably for ten years, visiting many parts of the Globe.
In 1835, he married Miss Emma Tyler, of Norwich, Conn., a most estimable lady, and removed to Canandaigua, N. Y., taking charge of the academy in that place, and subsequently of the one at Genesee. His health becoming somewhat impaired by teaching, he removed with his family in 1844 to Cincin